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J.K. Lasser's Small Business Taxes 2017: Your Complete Guide to a Better Bottom Line


The tax facts and strategies that every small business owner needs to know for their 2016 tax return and year-round planning

Owning a small business is a big responsibility. While all small business owners seek to improve their bottom line, few realize all the ways that both current and new tax laws can help them do so. With J.K. Lasser's Small Business Taxes 2017 you'll quickly discover how.

Written in a straightforward and accessible style, this reliable resource offers a complete overview of small business tax planning and provides you with the information needed to make tax-smart decisions throughout the year. Focusing on strategies that help you use deductions and tax credits effectively, shield business income, and maximize other aspects of small business taxes, this practical guide will show you how your actions in business today can affect your bottom line from a tax perspective tomorrow.

In this fully updated volume, you'll find:

  • Detailed coverage of the newest tax laws, court decisions, and IRS rulings
  • Planning strategies that can help you run a tax-smart business all year long
  • Comprehensive information on each available write-off, such as the small employer health insurance credit, including dollar limits and record-keeping requirements
  • Clear instructions on where to report income and claim deductions and credits on your tax forms
  • Guidance on opening or closing a business, running a sideline activity or multiple businesses, and ACA requirements
  • Help with state taxes and a guide to information returns you may need to file
  • Sample forms and checklists to help you prepare for tax time

Don't forget to view the free online supplement to this book at for late tax changes made by Congress and other up-to-the-minute developments.

J.K. Lasser—Practical Guides for All Your Financial Needs

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BARBARA WELTMAN is an attorney and a nationally recognized expert in taxation for small businesses, as well as the author of many top-selling books on taxes and finance, including J.K. Lasser's 1001 Deductions & Tax Breaks. She is also the publisher of Idea of the Day® and Big Ideas for Small Business®, a contributor to, is quoted regularly in major publications (including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Money magazine), and hosts a monthly radio show. Visit her at

Preface vii

Introduction xiii

Part 1 Organization 1

1. Business Organization 3

2. Tax Year and Accounting Methods 40

3. Recordkeeping for Business Income and Deductions 58

Part 2 Business Income and Losses 71

4. Income or Loss from Business Operations 73

5. Capital Gains and Losses 107

6. Gains and Losses from Sales of Business Property 128

Part 3 Business Deductions and Credits 143

7. Employee Compensation: Salary, Wages, and Employee Benefits 145

8. Travel and Entertainment Expenses 182

9. Car and Truck Expenses 212

10. Repairs, Maintenance, and Energy Improvements 242

11. Bad Debts 260

12. Rents 273

13. Taxes and Interest 284

14. First-Year Expensing, Depreciation, Amortization, and Depletion 300

15. Advertising Expenses 339

16. Retirement Plans 347

17. Casualty and Theft Losses 388

18. Home Office Deductions 403

19. Medical Coverage 423

20. Deductions and Tax Credits for Farmers 444

21. Domestic Production Activities Deduction 456

22. Miscellaneous Business Deductions 464

23. Roundup of Tax Credits 510

Part 4 Tax Planning for Your Small Business 523

24. Income and Deduction Strategies 525

25. Tax Strategies for Opening or Closing a Business 542

26. Tax Strategies for a Sideline Business 557

27. Tax Strategies for Multiple Businesses 562

28. Alternative Minimum Tax 568

29. Other Taxes 575

30. Filing Tax Returns and Paying Taxes 597

31. Retirement and Succession Planning 611

32. Working with CPAs and Other Tax Professionals 618

33. Handling Audits with the IRS 623

Appendix A. Information Returns 627

Appendix B. Tax Penalties 636

Appendix C. Checklist of Tax-Related Corporate Resolutions 643

Appendix D. List of Dollar Limits and Amounts Adjusted for Inflation 646

Index 651